Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan once described democracy as a bus you disembark upon reaching your destination. Erdogan is now forcing his country out of the bus.
In the aftermath of a short-lived and hapless coup attempt, he has declared a three-month state of emergency, facilitating his purge of political opponents and consolidation of power. It will also help Erdogan complete his fundamental transformation of Turkey, from a secular Muslim nation into a sharia-adherent and brutally repressive Islamic Caliphate.
One of those political opponents is Fethullah Gulen, another Turkish Islamist who runs a global cult and business empire from an armed camp in Pennsylvania’s Poconos mountains. Erdogan wants him extradited on the grounds that Gulen was behind the coup. Washington is investigating those charges. It should also investigate – and shut down – Gulen’s 150-plus problematic charter schools in this country.